Fundraising efforts heating up at St. Aengus Church, Burt

Men working during Phase One of the renovation being carried out to St Aengus' Church, Burt.
Men working during Phase One of the renovation being carried out to St Aengus' Church, Burt.

Fundraising is not the only thing heating up at St. Aengus Church in Burt, according to restoration fundraising committee member, Kathleen Grant.

She explained: “The recent completion of Phase One of the ongoing restoration work means St Aengus’ is finally wind and watertight and a complete new heating system has been installed, alongside a superior amplification system. St Aengus’ is now a warm and welcoming sanctuary for parishioners and visitors alike.

“This ongoing mammoth task is testimony to the truly remarkable fundraising undertaken by the parishioners of Fahan, Inch and Burt and members of other local churches, in partnership with the Friends of St Aengus’ living in other parts of Ireland and, indeed, abroad over the past two years.

“Together they raised an absolutely staggering 172,016.99 euro. Fr Neil McGoldrick, our chairperson Fr. Brendan Crowley, and the whole restoration fundraising committee wish to sincerely thank the Promoters and everyone who helped or got involved in the Parish Draw, organised events or made a donation. In these times of severe austerity, such a tremendous total is a mark of the great esteem and affection in which St Aengus’ is held”, said Ms Grant.

Work on the interior of St Aengus’, the iconic Liam McCormick-designed church, began this week, which means the church will be closed to the public on weekdays but will be open for weekend Masses and Ash Wednesday.

Mary McCallion, co-chairperson of the restoration fundraising committee, detailed what work will be carried out in Phase Two.

She said: “St Aengus’ was designated ‘Building of the Century’ by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland in 2000, and this church will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 2017 therefore it is fitting and necessary that we restore this beautiful church to its formal glory.

“Regrettably, the original wiring in St Aengus’ is no longer adequate. It has reached the end of its lifespan, as have the existing light fittings. St Aengus’ will therefore be rewired and new light fittings will be installed. A new fire detection system and emergency lighting system will also be incorporated into the building. These are two crucial health and safety items which have been previously absent from the church.

“St Aengus’ will also receive new internal decoration to its walls and ceilings, an additional benefit of the work associated with providing the new electrical wiring and lighting. Coupled with the improved heating, the new lighting and decoration will give a new lease of life to the quality of St Aengus’ internal space,” added Ms. McCallion.

Acknowledging that fundraising is more difficult in these austerity times, Kathleen Grant spoke about the special relationship between St Aengus’ and its parishioners, and is again appealing for people near and far to get involved in the Parish draw, which is the primary source of the fundraising efforts, and to come along to support our Big Sunday Bingo on the 22nd March in St. Mary’s Hall Burt.

She said: “In order to carry out Phase Two of the restoration work, we need to raise €162,042.00. St Aengus’ is a unique place and, maybe, we need bear in mind the responsibility we have for its upkeep now and for future generations. Here we have a beautiful church, in which we receive the Sacraments at times of great happiness and sadness in our lives.

“When Phases Two and Three are completed, we can all stand up and clap ourselves and each other on the back and say, ‘We have made a success of the task that was asked of us.”

The restoration fundraising committee and the priests of the parish of Fahan, Inch and Burt would welcome the support of everyone with a tie to St Aengus’.

Please contact us by email or find us on Facebook at Aengus Church. Alternatively, donations can be made using the following details:

Account No: 07394085,Sort Code: 93-72-90. IBAN: IE98 AIBK 9372 9007 3940 85 (BIC: AIBKIE2D)

Account Name: Fahan Parish Current Account

Bank Name: Allied Irish Banks Bank Branch: 8 Market Square Buncrana. Co. Donegal